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TA Troubles


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So I've been having issues with a fellow TA, and I've hit my breaking point today.

Overall, we're very good about helping each other. We leave each other hints, we talk over things or email if people who have taught earlier in the week figure out ways to make the lab more efficient, we leave each other extra solutions and ingredients. There's one kid though who has an attitude of "I don't give a crap." Unfortunately, he teaches before my first lab of the week, so I usually get the brunt of his carelessness.

I often come into lab 30 min early to set up, but half of the time that's not long enough since this guy puts tuff away in different places without saying anything. I usually end up texting him and getting a response of "Oh it's here", like I should know that. He gave me a wrong answer for a practical, but luckily I asked other people so it only affected one group of tests which I quickly corrected. He's a prep person, so after our prep meeting he and another girl make large batches of the solutions used and they can make more as needed. I consistently see him leaving after 30 min, leaving the other girl to work by herself for another 30 min.

Well today I officially wanted to kill him. Part of today's lab involved making a cross of Drosophila and putting the knocked out flies in new tubes with a yeast mix. So my kids start working on their flies and I start looking for the new tubes....I only find 3 and I need 12. I'm freaking out because I didn't make the first batch so I don't know how to make more. I text all the other TAs to make sure I just haven't found them, and all this guy says is "I don't know where they are." You were in the room before me, you used the same tubes, and you don't know if there're any more tubes?!? My kids were resourceful and partitioned the mix we did have among new tubes, but I felt so embarrased and angry. I don't know how much more I can take.

Am I being too harsh, or am I right to be pissed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yea, it turns out that I was supposed to have the kids make new tubes....but still, he could've told me that. Everyone else I talked to had taught early in the week so they used the pre-made tubes.

I talked to the other prep girl, and she agreed that he doesn't seem to care and that she definitely ends up doing more work than he does.

I've thought about bringing it up with the lab coordinator but he honestly doesn't care. Everyone hates him for his lack of effort. Example: Yet another TA has become completely lazy and uninterested. He doesn't provide his kids with enough information, he sulks in the back, he doesn't start figuring things out until an hour into the lab (I know because he'll call me asking where things are or how to do something an hour into his lab) and he's outright told me that he doesn't care anymore. His kids went out of their way to email the lab coordinator and complain. His response? "That's what evaluations are for." So I don't know how helpful he'd be.

At this point I'm just hoping we (me and the original guy pissing me off) don't teach the same lab next semester.

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